The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

January 17, 2013

Dems no longer gun-shy on restrictions

(Continued)

And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, while dodging a question about whether he supports an assault weapons ban, said last week: “The fact is, I’m willing to have that conversation. That’s more than a lot of people will say.”

On the Democratic side, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton — who would instantly become the front-runner if she decided to run — fell ill shortly after the Newtown shooting and just returned to work last week. But her husband, former president Bill Clinton, took a strong stance against high-capacity ammunition clips in a recent speech.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., considered a potential national candidate, is among those leading the charge in the Senate for stricter gun laws. Cuomo, meanwhile, was dubbed “America’s Sheriff” by the Daily News after calling for prohibitions on the sale of military-style assault weapons and ammunition clips over seven bullets.

In Maryland, O’Malley, a former Baltimore mayor who used his record of fighting crime to propel him to the governorship, is pushing to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, require new licensing rules, strengthen school security and aid those with mental illness.

O’Malley unveiled the proposals at a gun-policy summit Monday in Baltimore headlined by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a political independent and a leading gun-control advocate. “There is a sickness in our country, and that sickness is gun violence,” O’Malley said.

But the biggest platform is occupied by Biden, who is said to be eyeing a third presidential run in 2016. Biden has taken center stage in the past month as he met with interest groups while fashioning the administration’s gun plans.

Biden wrote a now-expired assault weapons ban as a U.S. senator in 1994. In his speech Thursday, he sought to play down his influence on Obama’s package of gun-control measures, which include a new assault weapons ban, limits on high-capacity magazines and universal background checks for firearms purchasers.

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